No doubt you will have noticed that the 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is getting a lot of attention right now and I have to admit that your Captain Taskmaster has become a little obsessed by the whole thing.
I’ve watched documentaries. I’ve watched dramatic recreations. I’ve listened to radio programs. I’ve read articles. I’ve got so much in my head about the Titanic right now I feel like I could design my own ocean liner.
But one thing I have been struck by is the investigations into how the ship’s officers failed to pay enough attention to the threat of iceberg collisions.
This wasn’t some freak accident. Ships nearby to the Titanic sent wireless messages warning of icebergs repeatedly in the hours before the collision.
Indeed, just two hours before the crash, one of the wireless officers was busy sending telegrams on behalf of the passengers (a common service provided by shipping companies, apparently) when he was interrupted by a major warning from a ship very close to Titanic.
This final warning was not passed on (although others were) because the wireless operator was too busy with the passenger messages.
The lesson for me was that even when we think we are focused on the right thing – serving customers – we need to see the bigger picture.
What icebergs might hit our business? Are they close or a long way away? Do they require immediate action? Will they sink us?
Fail to deal with these iceberg correctly and we won’t just be worrying about a lost customer – we’ll face losing our business.
Get it done – today!